Double Joy for Japanese Film at Cannes

12:00 PM PST 04/19/2013 by Gavin J. Blair
Piero Oliosi/Polaris
Takashi Miike, whose "Straw Shield" has been selected for the main competition at Cannes

Japan will have two very different representatives in the main competition section with the latest films from Hirokazu Kore-eda and Takashi Miike.

TOKYO – Takashi Miike's crime thriller Straw Shield (Wara no Tate) and Hirokazu Kore-eda family drama Like Father Like Son (Soshite Chichi ni Naru) will compete for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The news that Japan had two films selected for the main competition was welcomed at home, picked up by every major media outlet -- even business daily the Nikkei.

Masaharu Fukuyama, who plays the father in Kore-eda's baby-switch tale, was clearly thrilled at the prospect of going to Cannes.

“It's really above my level, I can't get my head around it. The more I hear people say it, the better it sounds. I'm actually supposed to be shooting a drama then, but I'm going to have to adjust the schedule as I may never get another chance like this in my life,” Fukuyama told local media.

Director Kore-eda is something of a Cannes favorite, having been there in 2004 with Nobody Knows, which won a best actor award, and in 2009 with Air Doll in Un Certain Regard.

Miike too is no stranger to Cannes, having been in 2011 with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, the first 3D film to be nominated for the Palme d`Or, as well as other productions out of competition.

“I'm surprised and honored. Honestly speaking, I wasn't expecting it. So I'm going to enjoy walking the red carpet,” Miike told local media. “It will be good publicity, and if lots of people come and watch Wara no Tate, I'll be happy. I'm really that cheap type of guy, but that makes it even more satisfying to be selected for a festival of this level. Thank you, Cannes.”

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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